Benjamin Maio Mackay
NT Live: A Small Family Business - 4 Stars
Another theatrical spectacle broadcast live from the West End!
The new production of Alan Ayckbourn’s most famous play has proved that after nearly 30 years it’s still relevant and very amusing.
Nigel Lindsay played Jack McCraken a man who held very strong moral standards. After taking over the family business he learns that his whole family are corrupt and are swindling the business. The play is based on two notions “greed is good” and “everyone can be corrupted.” Lindsay manages to exceptionally detail physically and emotionally Jack’s journey from being a morally driven person to working with what audiences assume are the Mafia.
The rest of the cast was also superb and there were no weak links. Everyone was able to maintain the pace needed to keep the play moving swiftly. Ayckbourn’s writing is remarkably clever. He manages to have a consistently strong storyline the whole way through that has many interesting characters who each have their own storyline. He also keeps the audience laughing, but manages to convey strong messages about morality, corruption and the darker side of society.
The set, designed by Tim Hattely was clever and effective. The single two-story house was used for all three family homes and was modeled on a typical 80’s home. The design only allowed the audience to see certain rooms of the house, so there was also something happening you couldn't see.
Overall a funny, moving and poignant production of one of Alan Ayckbourn’s most famous plays!
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Movie screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas